Boeing announced it had started the first phase of the P-8A Poseidon aircraft assembly process, a move that marked a major milestone in the production of the first of five Poseidons for the Royal Norwegian Air Force.
According to Boeing, the fuselage of Norway’s first ever P-8A aircraft arrived at Boeing facilities in Renton, Washington from Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kansas on April 12, 2021.
— Boeing Defense (@BoeingDefense) April 12, 2021
In a statement, Boeing noted that five yet-to-be-assembled P-8A Poseidon aircraft are destined to replace the Royal Norwegian Air Force’s current fleet of six P-3 Orions and three Dassault -Falcon 20, providing “advanced capabilities to maintain situational awareness in neighboring waters on and below the surface of the ocean”.
“Implementing established best practices and common, commercial production-system tools enables the team to reduce flow time and cost while ensuring quality and on-time delivery to our customers,” said Christian Thomsen, P-8A Europe program manager.
The first P-8A Poseidon aircraft is expected to reach the Royal Norwegian Air Force later in 2021. To this day, Boeing has delivered a total of 104 P-8A Poseidon aircraft to the US Navy, Australia, India and the United Kingdom.
The P-8 Poseidon is a multi-role maritime patrol aircraft, equipped with a naval search radar for search and tracking capability. Based on the fuselage of the Boeing 737-800, with the wings of the -900, it is powered by two CFM56-7B engines from CFM International, giving it a range of 5,900 kilometers (3,666 miles). It can also be fitted, both internally and externally, with an array of armaments dedicated to submarine and anti-ship warfare, such as torpedoes, mines, depth charges, and anti-ship missiles.